President Donald Trump couldn’t appease the appeals court that first rebuked him over his travel ban, as a panel of judges dealt him yet another legal setback Monday despite administration efforts to help the ban survive judicial scrutiny.
More than three months since the president went back to the drawing board on his original executive order, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit again refused to reinstate the revised version, which aimed to impose a ban on travel from six Muslim-majority countries and a suspension of the refugee resettlement program.
“The Immigration and Nationality Act … gives the President broad powers to control the entry of aliens, and to take actions to protect the American public. But immigration, even for the President, is not a one-person show,” said the court in a unanimous, unsigned ruling.
“The President’s authority is subject to certain statutory and constitutional restraints. We conclude that the President, in issuing the Executive Order, exceeded the scope of the authority delegated to him by Congress,” the court added.
The ruling is a victory for the state of Hawaii, which led the charge against the travel restrictions on the West Coast. A separate case out of Maryland, in which the Trump administration suffered a bruising defeat last month, is also making its way to the Supreme Court.
The pair of court challenges are now teed up for a showdown before the nation’s highest court, which will have to determine whether Trump and his surrogates’ history of anti-Muslim sentiment — both before and after the chief executive took office — should be considered when weighing whether the travel ban is unconstitutional.
In court challenges across the country, the Department of Justice has maintained that the executive order is “facially legitimate” and was issued in good faith. It has also denied that it was meant to target members of a religious group. Instead, the administration has argued the travel ban is a lawful exercise of the president’s authority, given to him by Congress, to exclude noncitizens from the country.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
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